Levelling up – getting your HR practices right

Published: 28 Jun 2023

As a business grows, one of the things that can sometimes be forgotten about until it is needed – and by then that is often too late – is having the right Human Resources (HR) practices in place. Having a comprehensive and robust set of policies and procedures might seem like a lot of red tape to a small business, but you’ll be thankful you have them, if, and when, you need them.

While you don’t want any unnecessary layers slowing down your work, there are times when a structured approach will make all the difference to the business’ performance and the team’s wellbeing. For example, having a solid Lone Working policy in place, with things like buddy systems and calling into the office at regular intervals included within it, if your surveyors are working on a site alone, might quite literally be the difference between life and death.

Making it clear

Other day-to-day policies, which cover everything from holiday entitlement, working hours and sick leave, through to maternity entitlement and disciplinary procedures, can all help you manage your team’s expectations. This has the added benefit of dispelling any grey areas, by clearly communicating what is acceptable and what isn’t within the working environment.

All in one place

There are various ways of managing the policies and procedures, and making sure that the whole team knows where to find out any information that relates to their employment with your business. Your staff handbook can be developed as a physical document – either a printed book or a folder that can be easily updated. Or, increasingly, some type of intranet or even an app. The staff handbook needs to include all the practical stuff, but it can also be an opportunity to include lots of useful additional information too. If it’s an online platform, it can then also be used as more of a two-way tool, to share information and request things, like annual leave.

Get it right, right from the start

Getting the HR basics right is so important, and absolutely essential as soon as your team starts to grow beyond just you. Once the basics are right, you then might want to think about employee engagement, as this is important to ensure your team are happy and likely to stay with you.

As part of our commitment to our members we have produced a series of business briefing notes to help members build a better business and you will find lots of information on employee engagement in the one on Employee Engagement and HR.

Don’t forget, The Survey Association provides Health and Safety and Business Management Document Schemes for all our Members, along with free access to the Croner Business Support Helpline. Find out more here.

For further information on TSA, visit the website.